Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is partnering with two solar businesses and the U.S. Navy to build utility-scale solar electric generating farms at two different locations in the company's service territory. With a combined total of approximately 53 MW, together these projects would represent the largest solar installations in Mississippi.
These new solar facilities can produce the amount of energy used annually by approximately 7,800 homes, said Mississippi Power President and CEO Ed Holland. The company also looks forward to bringing these projects to completion following approval by the Public Service Commission. If approved by the PSC, the projects could be in service by the end of 2016.
Mississippi Power will receive all of the energy and associated renewable energy credits generated by the projects, which it may use to serve its customers with renewable energy, use for future renewable energy programs, or sell at wholesale to third parties.
Mississippi Power and Strata Solar, a turn-key solar provider, are working to develop a 50 MW solar project located on 450 acres at Hattiesburg-Forrest County Industrial Park located near Hattiesburg. Another project will be built at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport on a 23-acre, 3-4 MW facility in cooperation with the U.S. Navy and Hannah Solar. The second project is part of the Navy's efforts to meet the Secretary of the Navy's goal to produce or procure 1GW of renewable energy.
"This innovative project represents a significant, cost-effective contribution toward the Navy's forward-leaning efforts to improve our national energy resilience through renewables," said Capt. Paul Odenthal, commanding officer Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport. "It is the result of much hard work and the strong relationship we have with our many community partners. We are happy to be part of this win-win initiative."
As an intermittent energy resource, the solar facilities will not replace Mississippi Power's generating plants, but will have the capability to provide energy that will help diversify the company's generation portfolio.